When families are exposed to horrific events— shootings, lockdowns, threats—they often turn to police and local officials for some form of clarity.
CNN made a rare decision to share the videos it obtained that depicted some of the officers’ responses—and those of the kids themselves, desperate to find safety and remain alive. The footage showed survivors Khloie Torres, Jaydien Canizales, and AJ Martinez as officers reached them more than an hour after the massacre began. The shooting last year at Robb Elementary School left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The videos were part of a series of evidence that has not been publicly released by the police department or the city of Uvalde. District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee said she would not release anything until the investigation was finished, even as Mayor Don McLaughlin defied her request and released some officer footage. Those videos, however, were before the officers breached the classrooms.
CNN previously played the 911 calls made by Torres and Miah Cerrillo for their parents prior to releasing them, but the videos were specifically requested to be seen by the parents.
“We’ve only been called once or twice to the DA’s office at the beginning and now we haven’t been told nothing,” Kassandra Chavez, Martinez’s mother, told CNN. “I mean, we’re having to find out later or through social media that something is going on.”
Torres was shown covered in the blood of a classmate, which she rolled around in to play dead, while Martinez was shown in pain after he was shot in the thigh. Canizales was seen screaming as he was ushered to leave, having hidden under a table while covering his ears.
“If she went through it, I should be strong enough to see it,” Jamie Torres, Khloie’s mother, told CNN. “I want to see everything that hurt my baby.”
Kassandra Chavez, Martinez’s mother, felt the same.
“We had to see it for ourselves, now we understand more,” Chavez said. “I’m happy he’s here, I’m upset because of what he had to go through for 77 minutes, to see all his friends being carried out like rag dolls … that’s all the memories he has.”